Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

Panic buttons in Ayanna Pressley's office were 'torn out' ahead of Capitol riot, chief of staff says

For Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), last week's Capitol attack became even scarier when she got to her office.

As The Boston Globe reports, Pressley had "two reasons to be afraid" when President Trump's supporters stormed into the Capitol building last week: "She has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder" that puts her at high risk for COVID-19, and she's a member of the progressive "Squad" that has long been a target of Trump backers. Death threats have led Pressley and her team to routinely run safety drills over the years, so they had a plan when the attackers started making their way into the Capitol, Pressley's chief of staff Sarah Groh told the Globe.

Pressley, Pressley's husband, and staffers barricaded the doors of her office, while Groh found gas masks and started looking for the special panic buttons around the office. But, terrifyingly, "every panic button in my office had been torn out — the whole unit," Groh told the Globe. The staff couldn't figure out what happened to the buttons, as they'd used them in the same office before.

Eventually, Pressley was taken to other secure rooms with other members of Congress, where she and other Democrats started planning articles of impeachment against Trump. But she did leave one of them when she found herself surrounded by "treasonous, white supremacist, anti masker members of Congress who incited the mob in the first place," Pressley tweeted Tuesday.

Read more scary encounters from Massachusetts representatives at The Boston Globe.